EXCLUSIVE: Castle executive producer Laurie Zaks is putting down roots at ABC Studios, which produces the ABC dramedy. Zaks has signed an overall deal with the studio, her first overall pact, and has launched her own production company, Second Season. Under the one-year deal, which has an option for a second year, Zaks will develop new projects. The name she chose for her company is a reference to “what you want to get for your show, a second season,” Zaks said. But also, “the second season is spring which is time for renewal. This is new for me, and I love that spiritual meaning.” Zaks has been at ABC Studios since 2006 when she left the network executive ranks to become president of Armyan Bernstein’s Beacon Television, which had a deal at the studio (then Touchstone TV). At Beacon, she developed Castle and has spent the past four years as an executive producer on the crime procedural starring Nathan Fillion. While she will keep her executive producer title on the show, Zaks will scale back her day-to-day involvement to focus on development this coming season. “I have to find the next Castle,” she quipped.
Before joining Beacon, Zaks served as SVP, Current Programs at UPN from 2002 until the network’s final season, overseeing such shows as Veronica Mars, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Everybody Hates Chris. She also spent six years at CBS as VP of current programs where she was in charge of comedies Everybody Loves Raymond & The King of Queens and drama The Guardian. Zaks, repped by UTA and attorney John Moonves, also was one of the founding executives at Comedy Central, where she also spent six years.